First Solar and Clean Energy Collective, LLC (CEC) have confirmed the parties have executed a Module Supply Agreement (MSA) that facilitates CEC's procurement of First Solar's advanced technology modules and other equipment to be used in CEC's growing project pipeline in one of the fastest expanding segments of the solar market. The two companies in renewable energy established a strategic partnership late last year to develop and market community solar offerings to residential customers and businesses directly on behalf of partner utilities.
The first four projects to utilize the MSA demonstrate the variety of benefits available to local communities, as well as versatility in applications of the core technology used for large-scale community solar generation facilities. The portfolio also shows how First Solar and CEC can meet the unique needs of different types of utilities - investor-owned, public power, and rural electric cooperatives.
A facility serving customers of Black Hills Energy in Pueblo, Colorado, will allow individuals to own portions of a fixed tilt array using First Solar modules and equipment, all developed and administered by CEC. Owners of solar panels will receive direct credit on their Black Hills Energy electric bill for the power produced. A portion of the power produced will also be made available to low-income residents within Black Hills Energy's service territory. This project is the first "roofless" community solar park in Pueblo and the surrounding area.
In another first, a community solar project in San Antonio, Texas, using First Solar modules mounted on a single-axis tracking system, developed and administered by CEC, will provide customers of CPS Energy with the opportunity to own local, clean energy generation through a CEC-managed program designed to make solar power more affordable and accessible to residential and commercial customers.
A project with the non-profit NEC Retail (Nueces Electric Cooperative) in Corpus Christi, Texas, will bring community shared solar to south Texas and will be the first large-scale solar garden in a deregulated market. NEC Retail, as a non-profit rural electric cooperative, is able to serve any consumers in Texas who have the ability to choose their electric provider, who can purchase solar modules in the 800 kW single-axis tracker array to offset their electric usage charges.
First Solar modules using a special anti-reflective coating (ARC) will be used at a project for Holy Cross Energy in Rifle, Colorado, along with balance of system components from other suppliers. This is the fourth community solar project CEC has worked on with Holy Cross Energy.
Combined, these four projects introduce the concept of community solar to nearly 1 million potential residential users, many of whom would not be able to install solar on their own homes.
"Roofless solar allows the greatest number of consumers to participate in and enjoy the benefits of locally produced clean power," said CEC founder and CEO Paul Spencer. "We are proud to partner with First Solar in using their industry-leading technology, which allows us to provide the most competitive pricing and greatest value to utilities and their customers." "The community solar market promises significant growth, and CEC is clearly well-positioned to lead in this space," said Eran Mahrer, Senior Director of Business Development - Utilities for First Solar. "First Solar's module supply agreement is a tangible demonstration of our ongoing commitment to this strategic partnership."